UAE, Ukraine ink deal to begin Cepa talks

Cepa with the UAE will unlock the full potential of cooperation in trade and investment, helping his country’s businesses to grow and take advantage of the new opportunities



Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, addressing a media briefing in Dubai on Monday. — Supplied photo
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, addressing a media briefing in Dubai on Monday. — Supplied photo
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 7:01 PM

The UAE and Ukraine on Monday announced signed a deal to start negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) to boost bilateral trade in key strategic sectors.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy, signed the deal.

The UAE has signed Cepa with India, Indonesia and Israel while negotiations are underway or in the planning phase with Pakistan, Turkiye, Georgia and Cambodia as part of the UAE strategy to double the size of its economy from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh3 trillion by 2030.

The Gulf’s second-largest economy is also looking to sign Cepa with other countries and regional blocs in the years to come.

The UAE works as a gateway for the region and Cepa agreements strengthen the emirate’s position for increased trade with other economies around the world.

In 2021, non-oil trade between the UAE and Ukraine grew 28.4 per cent year-on-year to $904.4 million. The UAE investment in Ukraine reached nearly $243.3 million in 2021 while Ukrainian investment flows into the UAE totalled $84 million in 2020.

In February 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a $3 billion commitment to trade and investments during the UAE visit. The Cepa negotiations follow the efforts of the president’s visit to the UAE.

Ukraine is one of the most important sources of grains such as barley and wheat for the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.

According to Trading Economics, the top Ukraine exports to the UAE are iron and steel, vegetable oil, oil seed, grain, fruits, machinery, dairy products, and cereals among others.

“We recognise the difficult circumstances in which these negotiations will take place, but the UAE and Ukraine see many areas of joint opportunity, particularly in the fields such as infrastructure, heavy industry, aviation, information technology and food security,” Zeyoudi said in a video statement.

“Our partnership can strengthen east-west supply chains and contribute to greater food security in the face of global challenges,” he added.

“A Cepa with Ukraine offers a raft of new opportunities for our exporters, investors, and manufacturers while also opening up access to new markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for Ukraine’s agricultural and industrial output. We are committed to negotiating a mutually beneficial deal that can not only help drive Ukraine’s economic recovery but also foster long-term growth and opportunity,” the UAE minister said.

Svyrydenko said Cepa with the UAE will unlock the full potential of cooperation in trade and investment, helping his country’s businesses to grow and take advantage of the new opportunities.

“The UAE has earned a well-deserved reputation as a prominent international trade and logistics hub. At the same time, Ukraine is known for its role as a global food security guarantor and a growing IT powerhouse. That makes our economies complementary, and we look forward to working together on promoting trade, the digital economy, as well as facilitating our investment cooperation,” said Ukraine’s first deputy prime minister.

— waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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